A health worker prepares a dose of the Covishield Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India on April 1. Punit Paranjpe / AFP / Getty Images
The Indian state of Maharashtra, which reports the highest new daily coronavirus cases in the country, has asked the central government to increase vaccine supplies in the face of a shortage, the state’s health minister said.
“Many vaccination centers have to close because they haven’t received enough vaccines. People come to the centers, but our health workers have to tell them they haven’t received the vaccine so they can go home,” said Maharashtra’s Minister for Vaccines Health Rajesh Tope told reporters Wednesday.
Tope said he had asked central Indian authorities to deliver more doses of the Covaxin and Covishield vaccines. “In both towns and villages, we have put together teams to get everyone over 45 to take the vaccine,” he added. “We had a rapid mobilization of recipients, but not enough vaccines.”
Maharashtra state recorded 55,469 new cases on Tuesday, nearly half of the new cases across the country, according to the state health department. According to the city council, the state capital Mumbai recorded 10,030 new cases on Tuesday.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said the shortage comes at a time when confidence in Covid-19 vaccines is growing. “People want to take the vaccine quickly,” she told the local media. “We are facing shortages of Covishield and Covaxin. As of yesterday we only had 176,000 doses of Covaxin. At this rate, it will be difficult to give those who received the first a second dose of the vaccine.”
Maharashtra has administered the highest number of vaccine doses of any state. 8,127,248 people received the first dose of vaccine, the Indian Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
The second wave covers the country: India reported over 115,000 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest number of single days since the pandemic began. This emerges from a CNN balance sheet by the Indian Ministry of Health. The country has seen a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases since March.
Several Indian cities and states reintroduced coronavirus restrictions in the second wave. Maharashtra imposed lockdowns and curfews over the weekend, Delhi union area issued night lockdowns and night lockdowns in 20 cities in western Gujarat state.